Unless you have been living in a cave for the past couple of days, I think you should have noticed that a significant amount of snow fell on Sunday.
If you are reading this from another area of the UK that was unaffected or even from a different country, then bear with me.
The last time that there was something like this amount of snow on the ground was in 2013. So unlike areas of the world that get it all the time, we aren’t equipped to deal with it. In fact, if the weather is anywhere approaching any sort of extreme, we can’t deal with it. The country comes to a standstill, all roads close and all public institutions close their doors for the duration.
So, on Sunday I decided to brave the conditions and walk down to the shop as we didn’t have the required provisions to last the day. Wrapped up against the elements, I set out, leaning forward into the wind that whipped snow into my face.
As I got nearer to the shop, I started to become slightly stressed as I began to see others who were hurrying in the opposite direction. They would be swiping all the stuff I needed!
The nearer I got, the trickle of people laden with orange shopping bags became a constant stream which only served to increase my stress levels.
Eventually I arrived, to be greeted by a sludge filled store full of people scoping produce into baskets by the armful whilst a solitary assistant with a mop and bucket tried in vain to keep the floor dry.
As I walked past “I thought it would be a quiet one” was all I could hear him mutter. “You and me both” I replied as I gazed at the carnage.
As I wandered around the store trying to pick through the mess, dodging wet people a couple of things went through my head.
- So many people (myself included) fail to plan ahead when it comes to meal prep. One snow day and it had all gone to hell.
- Any disruption to routine causes everything to get thrown out of the window.
Before I get to how these two points can affect our health and fitness, I want to put your mind at rest. I made it back home in one piece with everything I needed. So, you can breathe easy.
The amount of people wandering aimlessly around the shop made me think that a lot of people didn’t plan their food ahead. If they had, then they would have already had their supplies bought and wouldn’t have needed to brave the elements. These planned meals would more than likely include more whole foods and vegetables.
However, I could see that many people (myself included) were reaching for the easy option. Which is almost always the unhealthiest. These include processed meals, that are high in fats, sugars and have almost no nutritional benefits.
Out of the ordinary
Disruption is another element of this. The human brain carries out certain tasks on autopilot when completed under the same conditions. Like driving to work for example. We know that we drove there, we put on our seat belt and listened to the radio. But unless something out of the ordinary happened, can you remember exactly how you got there?
The same can be said for eating habits. If you are in a healthy routine, this time out from the ordinary can jolt you out of habit. Which can lead you to do something out of your ordinary.
It makes you think and thinking about what we are doing is not one of our strong points!
So, it’s important that we learn to plan effectively. This will help us to stay on track even when the situation has changed.
I also learned that disruption of routine is the enemy of habit. That one moment where we actually have to think consciously can lead to ruin.
Keep it simple
First published on Fitbox Blog December 2017